Station Eternity is interesting and unusual whodunnit murder mystery on space station with original premise and amazing setting.
Station Eternity (The Midsolar Murders #1) by Mur Lafferty
Publication Date : October 4, 2022
Publisher : Ace / Berkley Publishing Group
Read Date : October 31, 2022
Genre : Sci-Fi / Murder Mystery
Pages : 457
Tea for this book : Black + Saffron Tea
From idyllic small towns to claustrophobic urban landscapes, Mallory Viridian is constantly embroiled in murder cases that only she has the insight to solve. But outside of a classic mystery novel, being surrounded by death doesn’t make you a charming amateur detective, it makes you a suspect and a social pariah. So when Mallory gets the opportunity to take refuge on a sentient space station, she thinks she has the solution. Surely the murders will stop if her only company is alien beings. At first her new existence is peacefully quiet…and markedly devoid of homicide.
But when the station agrees to allow additional human guests, Mallory knows the break from her peculiar reality is over. After the first Earth shuttle arrives, and aliens and humans alike begin to die, the station is thrown into peril. Stuck smack-dab in the middle of an extraterrestrial whodunit, and wondering how in the world this keeps happening to her anyway, Mallory has to solve the crime—and fast—or the list of victims could grow to include everyone on board….
Station Eternity is interesting and original Sci-Fi Murder Mystery focusing on Mallory Viridian who seemed to attract murders. She happens to be there when murders happen and even helps to solve them but at the same time it makes her social pariah and takes toll on her mental state. To save herself and other humans around her she has taken shelter on the sentient space station, Eternity. There are only two other humans on Eternity, Earth ambassador and Xan, ex-military who also has taken shelter. Eternity hasn’t allowed any other humans to board but now Eternity is welcoming humans and Mallory fears murder will be inevitable.
This started off really well with refreshing and gripping writing, original premises, taking place in near future on a sentient space station but the pace gets bumpy when we get the past of the characters, of not just of Mallory and Xan but all other characters arriving in Earth shuttle on Eternity and with that it also get complicated and unpredictable with theme and layers of human nature, loneliness, guilt and regret, insecurity, power struggle, friendship, and dysfunctional family.
Mallory is interesting and unusual character. She felt guilt and regret for being a murder magnet and making it a means to earn money by writing popular murder mystery series. It was both amusing and sad to read how murders happened around her and no one took her seriously. Authorities were annoyed she was always there and actually helped in solving all murders to the point that they denied her PI license. I could see why it was taking toll on her. It sure was hard to be in world where you have to keep people away in fear of causing murder, not able to do any job that required to be around other employees, not to date anyone or have friends and even being with only relatives who raised her ended up in murder. She wasn’t strong heroine who was hardened by all murders but very much feared them. No wonder she self-exiled herself on station among aliens. But like Xan said she became different, confident, and an excellent observer when she is around murder or conflicts. It was another mystery how she was so good at it when she never had any interest in mystery, either books or shows.
Xan is mysterious. We know from the beginning he was in the military working on secret project until the last murder where he meets Mallory again and was taken by a spaceship just after the murder. He isn’t a murderer but he kept so many things to himself that it was hard to trust him fully. As he revealed his past intermittently things started to make sense, it was easy to figure out half of the mystery, and I liked him more and more. He is caring and very good at judging character.
I enjoyed reading about all the secondary characters both humans and aliens. Some were annoying, some had their own history and baggage, and some were entertaining. I liked Ferdinand, Tina, Lovely, and Infinity.
There is lots of build up in the story with both the setting and also characters that makes this the perfect first book in the series but like first book in the series we only get to know the character well, we don’t see the development in them.
The setting is best part. It was amazing to read about a huge planet size sentient space station that housed different kinds of less/no watery alien species who all have symbionts with beneficial relationships, how they lived on Eternity, their role, alien technology, food, and medicines. I also loved the back story of how humans made their first contact, how friendly aliens were, how humans reacted to aliens and their technology giving an excellent example of human nature by feeling inferior and insecure and creating huge mess and chaos. I also enjoyed seeing humans through aliens’ perspectives.
Mystery at first looked simple but it got complicated and unpredictable with the arrival of the shuttle and more suspects and all the chaos. At first, I found back story of each character distracting from the main mystery but I liked how author connected every aspect to main mystery. It was kind of clever. I couldn’t guess the culprit until Mallory and Xan figured it out.
Climax is action-packed, taking many unexpected turns, and connected all loose ends. The revelation of the murderer was surprising. I figured mystery behind Mallory able to solve murders by this point but still it was interesting to read how it all worked and what Mallory think about it. End is good, I enjoyed reading the two epilogues but I would have liked to know a bit more about how Earth took things later.
Why 4 stars-
Pace is bumpy. Mallory’s deductive skill was well written when she was on Earth but on Eternity, there was lots of distractions. The main mystery looked like it solved itself and they identified the murderer by events that happened later rather than clues. Also, all the distractions are kind of weird and they made me very impatient as the main murder and working on solving it happened very late in the story. I can see not everyone would like that aspect.
Overall, Station Eternity is interesting, intriguing, and unusual murder mystery with original premise and amazing setting. I have no idea where next book will go so I’m curious.
I recommend this book if you like,
Story taking place in near future on Space Station and Past on Earth
Whodunnit murder mystery
Lots of build-up and character background
Amazing setting of Space Station that is alien and alive
Alien species and technology
Theme and layer of human nature
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